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AFSCME, your union, is asking you to strike. Striking is serious, and it is important you understand the implications of participating in a strike. Please read the below information carefully.

You deserve a contract.

You deserve a contract that fairly recognizes your hard work and dedication. UC recently offered AFSCME guaranteed wage increases and excellent benefits for all service workers for the next four years. Our offer also included a limit on healthcare cost increases and a one-time lump sum payment of $750 for all eligible service employees. AFSCME turned down the offer.

A strike is unfair to patients and others.

A strike will impact patients, students and other UC employees. We think it is wrong for AFSCME to threaten services to patients and students as a negotiating tactic.

Threatening patient care is illegal.

It is illegal for unions to threaten patient care with a strike. As it has before, UC will seek legal protection for patients against an AFSCME strike — see below for details.

Answers to key questions about strikes

Q. Will a strike negatively impact services to patients?
A. Whenever a union threatens to strike, UC medical centers must begin to take the appropriate steps. The hospital must consider limiting operations, which has an effect on both critical and elective care before, during and after a strike. Referrals from outlying communities may be lost indefinitely, damaging the public trust in our medical facilities. Critical trauma patients may need to be diverted to non-level I facilities, which reduces the quality of patient care. Also, noise from strikes can be very disturbing to patients.

Q. Is it illegal for AFSCME to threaten UC patient care with a strike?
A. Under state law, strikes that a pose a substantial and imminent threat to vital public services like patient care are illegal. UC believes it would be considered illegal for certain AFSCME-represented patient care staff to strike because it would pose an imminent threat to public health and safety and improperly withhold health care from the public.

Q. Has AFSCME or other UC unions ever been legally prohibited from striking?
A. Yes. In 2008, AFSCME asked patient care employees to strike at UC medical centers. At the request of the Public Employment Relations Board (PERB), a judge issued a restraining order against the strike. PERB also issued a complaint against AFSCME for bad-faith bargaining and for encouraging a strike that would clearly endanger the public's safety. In 2010, a court issued a restraining order against the California Nurses Association for its strike at UC medical centers. Courts also barred certain UC medical center employees from striking in 2013 and 2014.

Q. Will I lose pay for participating in a strike?
A. Employees who are absent from work without prior authorization during a strike will not be paid for the absence. As is always the case, authorization for an absence from work (e.g., vacation leave) may or may not be granted, depending on operational necessity and without regard to the employee's reason for the requested leave.

Q. Do I have to strike? Can I be penalized by the union for not striking?
A. No employee is ever under any obligation to strike. Unions are legally prohibited from threatening or coercing members in other ways to keep them from coming to work. However, some unions have the right to levy fines against members, but not non-members, who choose to work during a strike, including a sympathy strike. A union member who does not wish to strike may want to contact her/his local union representative to confirm there will not be fines. Even if the union does levy fines, UC will not deduct union fines from employees’ paychecks.

Q. If I come to work during a strike, what pay and benefits will I receive?
A. If you come to work, you will receive the same pay and benefits as you normally do.